Ting Wong/ H. Novak
If you stand beneath Chinatown’s main gate, Ting Wong’s bright red sign on the left side of the street is hard to miss. So are the roast ducks hanging in the window. One of the better-known establishments in Chinatown, Ting Wong is famous for its roasted meats at reasonable prices.
Street View/ H. Novak
ShangHai 1 is a little restaurant on the right-hand side Chinatown’s main street, if you’re approaching from Jefferson Station. Look for the sign with an enthusiastic-looking steamed bun wearing a chef’s hat. The bun’s expression captures the vibe of the restaurant—delicious food and enthusiastic eaters.
My friends and I are avid hot pot eaters, and our favorite place is a stylish restaurant deep in Chinatown called Nine Ting. Since my birthday was Wednesday, and Chinese New Year was Saturday, we went for hot pot to celebrate. (I credit my friend K. for introducing me to Nine Ting. K. has the ability to polish off an extraordinary amount of hot pot and is an all-around food enthusiast.) If you eat at Nine Ting on your birthday, your hot pot is free! They require proof of your birthday and a little post on Facebook. Otherwise it is about $22 a person.
Rounding Logan Square/ H. Novak
The annual Philadelphia Marathon took place on Saturday, November 19. I live with three other friends in a hall group—that is, we occupy four comfortable rooms next to one another. My wonderful hall-mate Carissa, who is also my hell mom, had been training for weeks and weeks . . . and weeks. I have never been the athletic type, but I admire anyone who has the devotion and drive and patience to run. I was simply in awe of Carissa’s endurance in running a half marathon. (Plus, besides training for the marathon, she bikes from Bryn Mawr to her UPenn classes in Philly!)
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House and Spice C
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House/ M. Ye
My friend says she goes to Chinatown whenever she needs a “taste of home.” Steaming hand-drawn noodles, stir-fried vegetables, roast pork buns, hot pot . . . Chinatown has it all. How glad I am that Philadelphia is a city with a Chinatown! Fresh noodles are not common in our everyday cuisine. They are difficult to acquire and even more difficult to make.
Food by sunlight/ H. Novak
Philadelphia—the city with an unlimited array of restaurants. . . . But where to start? Something quick? Something fancy? Something relaxing? Philadelphia has it all. It is best to explore and stumble upon a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. You may be surprised. But, yes, Yelp and Trip Advisor are helpful.
Chestnut Street is among the most bustling of Philadelphia’s thoroughfares. It stretches west to east across the entire city. Although there are a greater number of restaurants just off Chestnut (and between 18th and 15th), a few squeeze in on the street itself, between the ubiquitous H&M and Forever 21. A new one called Wok Street recently opened up. As a passionate lover of Asian food, I was eager to try this new fusion restaurant.
Wok Street minutes after opening / H. Novak